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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  March 28, 2011 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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that is will alleviate some of the harms. in addition to some of the harms that i talked about, i am concerned there will be layoffs and what will happen to folk that is are unemployed. overall, i don't think there's anything right now that i can think of that will alleviate the harm that merger will cause. >> now at&t say that is wireless rates have gone down after it's a series of acquisitions that it made over the past decade or so. what does your data show? are you worried that rates will rise if the deal is approved? >> i think that data really involves voice rates, and voice prices, and so while voice prices may have gone down, we have seen data prices go up. if the venture is about mobile broadband, that obviously involved data. we actually have seen data rates go up. they have gone up. even though the amount needed to invest in the networks, and the amount needed to keep the
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networks going has gone down. that has gone down. we will likely continue to see data rates go up. >> now again presuming for a moment that the deal was approved, what types of conditions would both of you want to have added? >> one the things that's most important that's benefit that's going to come out of this deal is the expansion of the broadband at at&t is committed to speed of ten megabits per second. that's enough to be able to watch video, several high intensity, and high definition video over your wireless device to build it our. that's been a voluntary commitment that they announced day one. that's very important. the united states is behind all of the other advanced countries in our broadband infrastructure. this is the key issue that we have to address. this is the infrastructure of the 21st century. it's important for education, health care, economic development. and so this is a very big
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positive. we would certainly be very interested that the fcc has they weigh the potential harm and see this enormous benefit that that benefit would be codified in an order so that the commitment that at&t has made which they have fulfilled in their past merger would be codified. there could be other kinds of commitments that have to do with addressing our broadband gaps for example, some kind of low income subsidy so that we can expand broadband to the hundred million households on the wrong side of the digital divide. something that would look at build out to our schools and our libraries which do not have the capacity that they need for all of those enormous benefit sos that our grandchildren and children will be able to benefit through the internet. > parul? >> as i mentioned, i don't think
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there are any condition that is will alleviate the harms that will come out. at&t hasn't shown why it needs t-mobile assets and spectrum to build out and reach the goals of 95% of broadband to the population. 95% of the population. at&t has lots of spectrum, they have quality spectrum, like the 700 megahertz. they just haven't invested that spectrum. verizon has launched test networks with respect to 4g. i don't think that at&t has made the case that it needs t-mobile spectrum to reach the goal of 95%. they can do it without the acquisition of t-mobile. >> we are out of time, unfortunately. desai -- parul desai of the consumers unions and debbie goldman of the communications workman of america. thank you for being on the communicators. we are joined by bob goodlatte,
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republican of virginia, who's remember of the house judiciary committee, in fact, he's chairman of the intellectual property, competition, and the internet subcommittee. congressman goodlatte, in news report, you said you will be holding hearings on the proposed deal between at&t, and t-mobile. what are you looking to find out from these hearings? obviously, two things, one we want to determine whether it deal is a good idea. whether creating what will be the largest wireless company in america, obviously raises very significant competition issues in terms of the availability of services and in terms of pricing, you know, is this going to be helpful to the consumers, or is it going to be harmful. secondly, we are just beginning this process, the justice department and the federal communications commission has a responsibility for reviewing this under our antitrust laws. and we need to make sure that
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they are pursuing this in an appropriate manner. in other words, we have an oversight responsibility on the judiciary committee of the department of justice and the federal communication commission to ensure that they conduct their review with a diligence and fairness and commitment to the law that is very important in these circumstances. and so we're going to hold this hearing, this process could take a year or more, and they are into about the 5th day of this. so obviously there's not a lot to be determined yet. but we want to make sure that this is pursued aggressively and diligently and we will also be providing a forum for, you know, individuals, attorneys, experts on the telecommunications industry and so on for them to talk about and debate the implications of this merger, and
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it's also obviously a way for our constituents concerned about the merger to be addressed. >> congressman, this deal would remove the fourth largest wireless carrier from the marketplace. are you concerned about the impact on consumers choice and competition? >> oh sure. absolutely. we want to know what impact this will have in terms of pricing of wireless services, and we want to know what impact it will have on the ability of those services and therefore we think it's very important that the justice department and the fcc which are the two government agencies responsible for overseeing this industry and competition in this industry are taking this matter very, very seriously and are being very thorough in what they do. that'll be a part of our initial hearing on the issue. >> congressman, at&t is already
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the worlds telecommunication company. how big is too big in this space? >> well, that's one the issues that we will take up in this matter. how big is too big would be answered by a number of variables, including do they have market power? will they be able to set market prices in a way they do not have the ability to do now? that is a question that is not one for the entire country. it is a question that probably entailing requiring the justice department and the fcc to look at individual geographic regions of the country and see what competition is there now and what will take place as a result. often times when you have mergers like this, there maybe an approval of the merger, but only have a number of changes are made where they are required to -- not -- to divest the
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interest of one the companies in the particular market. the competition remains there and so on. it's way too early to answer all of those questions. but the issue depends upon how many competitors there are in the marketplace and how much the removal of one of those competitors from the marketplace will have on prices and choices, and quality of service for consumers. >> and finally, chairman goodlatte, have you scheduled the hearing, or time frame from when they will begin? >> we are looking at dates. but i don't think we have announced a date. but it probably will be in early may. >> congressman bob goodlatte, chairman of the judiciary committee, subcommittee on intellectual property, the internet, and competition. thank you for joining us on the communicators. and david hatch of the national journal, thank you as well for joining us on the communicators. i do want to mention the national journal has a new tech
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web site. nationaljournal.com/tech. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> as protests continue in the middle east and nato takes control of military operation in libya, find the latest from the u.n. security council, administration officials with and reaction from world leaders on the c-span video library. all searchable on your computer any time. watch what you want when you want. >> in a few moments, a forum on border security, including comments from the threat of a terrorists attack is greater along the border with canada, than the border with mexico. in less than two hours, the commission on wartime contracting continued to cut cost on federal contracts and increase competition. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning.
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>> throughout april, we'll feature the top winners of c-span student cam competition. nearly 1500 middle school and high school students committed "washington, d.c. through my lens" watch at 6:50 a.m. eastern just before washington journal and during the program meet the students that created them. stream all of the videos any time online at studentcam.org.
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the deputy commissioner said the terrorist threat is higher along the border with canada than mexico. this speech hosted by the national journal in 50 minutes. >> i'd like to thank the moderator, our keynote speaker deputy commissioner aguilar, and our impressive list of panelist. the topic at hand, the gao represently reported that in 2010, the u.s. canadian 4,000-mile border only had 22 miles with an acceptable level of security. nearly $3 million was spent to investigation illegal activity, 6,000 arrests, and 3,000 pounds of illegal drugs seized. the same report the u.s.-mexico border only 873 miles under
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operational control and 129 miles of that distance, or roughly 15% are classified as controlled. with the remaining 85% as managed, $3 billion was spent to patrol the southwest border in 2010, apprehending, more than 445,000 illegal entries and over 2.4 million pounds of marijuana. today we hope to learn more about current border security effectiveness and what other measures and technologies are needed to help secure our borders and protect those helping to secure them. flir is honored to provide surveillance, chemical, nuclear, and explosive protective twices to -- devices to the department of homeland security and border control. we look forward to hearing what
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we can do to assist in these endeavors. thank you. >> sorry about my voice this morning. moderators today's discussion on behalf of national journal is our senior correspondent james kitfield. for over two decades, james has written on the sense of national security and foreign policy issues. he's an award winning writing winning the gerald r. ford award three times on national defense. i believe that's a record. james has twice won the military reporters and editors award as well as in the diehl school of journalism for excellence in reporting for his first-hand coverage of the war in afghanistan and the surge in iraq. he's an author of "war and destiny," and prodigal soldiers" please welcome james and deputy commissioner aguilar of the borders protection. [applause]
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[applause] >> good to meet you. gerald f. ford was a good man. i miss him dearly. i've been covering this beat for a long time. as we've been watching what's unfolding in japan, the middle east, i forget there's a very serious crisis with the country much closer to us, which is in mexico, which is fighting really a life and death struggle i think for the future of that country with these very poweful drug traffic and organization. 30,000 mexicans have lost their lives in that struggle. we are intimately involved in this. the country's veracious appetite for drugs that is fueling that war, basically, going down in mexico, guns and money come -- go south as well as the drugs coming north. so i think we sometimes forget really how important this subject is about securing our border. in people have never quite explained to me in 20 years, what a secure border actually is. we have with us today a person
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that can hopefully clear us all up on that. david aguilar is the deputy commissioner of the u.s. customs and border patrol, he's a former chief, 31 years with the border patrol. where he's oversaw 2,000 agents, he's received awards for the achievements, especially with desert safeguard. i appreciate you joining us today. it's a very important subject. i wonder if you can start off at 30,000 feet. what does a secure border look like? in this town, there seems to be a lot of disagreement about what it would look like and entail. >> first of all, let me begin by thanking you for the invite to be here this morning. it's a great opportunity to clear up some of the questions that are being asked about the border, what is a secure border, what does it entail? what is it going to take? let me give you a little bit of history before we go into too much depth. a secure border is going to be the ability to have a border that is well managed and
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mitigate as much of the risk that we know exists along the entirety of that border. 2,000 miles on the southern border, 4,000 miles on the northern border. just what does that mean? that means that then certain areas of the border, urbanized areas of operation, we have a need to know exactly what it happens because of the possibility and potential for assimilation into the urbanized areas by bad things, bad people, and bad capabilities. now these are individuals that are coming into this country for the purposes of smuggling narcotics, smuggling people, smuggling bad capabilities. when we go beyond the urbanized areas of operation, we need to be able to protect, identify, and resolve the entries. do we have a need to immediately identify the fact that an individual massachusetts crossed that geographical line immediately. the answer to that is probably not. because one thing that is not being taken into consideration in the city and media and
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throughout the country is the following. is that a secure border goes way beyond the line. it is the full continuum of that border. we have to take into consideration the points of origin as things bad people, bad capabilities, and bad things are coming at us during the transit. arrival at the border, entry at the border, egress away from the border, and final destination. at each one the opponents, there are opportunities to mitigate risk. so it goes way beyond that line. that is where we struggle. too often the one thing that is useds a proxy for a secure border is a number of apprehensions of aliens and narcotics. that is a good measure. but it is one variable in the entire equation that needs to be taken into consideration. >> okay. talk for a second what about the southwest border initiative, started in 2009, and from my
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perspective, that was a follow on to what the bush administration started in 2005, which was a major emphasis on enforcement at the border. double your number of agents, lots of new technology, a lot of the technology's associated with what we're talking about the electronic fence later. you look at some of the stats that i was pulling up. a lot more at the border, drug money and weapons all up. get you have the gao report that says you only have a small percentage of the border, 15% that's it's fully controlled, 40% under operational control. talk about this dichotomy in the view between the gao and what your organization is saying about your successes with the southwest border initiative. >> very good question. one the things that unfortunately is happening is that there is a struggle to identify border security. when the gao report came out, it came out very specific to the line, to the geographical border
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that we look at. we should look at that border, and we need to continue looking at that border within one variable that we need to address. so having said that, let me give you a little background. when people talk about operational control of the border, they use a terminology that the united states border patrol put together about ten or 12 years ago. the reason those definitions were actually generated was for the chief to have a means to basically identify resource requirements, specifically a given area of operation. i was a chief of the border control they would use to say this is when i need in the area of infrastructure, technology, and personnel, in order to bring this level of control to this specific area of the border. we have basically five levels of control that the border patrol very tacticically uses. control, which is the highest level of control that we can bring to the border, because of the urban area where we have a need to immediately identify
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what is happening. we have a level of managed where we manage the area to a degree that we have an idea of what's happening, respond timely. monitored to where we have that capability and we can also respond timely. and it's all of these definitions that come together. these are definitions specific to the line. what is not taking into consideration is when the gao talks about 15% under operational control. well, the operational control that we have right now is within the urban areas of operation. allow me if you will. >> sure. >> do we need the same level of control that we have in downtown san diego, downtown el paso in martha? we don't. 510 miles of sector in martha we feel very comfortable with because of threat and risk assessments that we have done
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that say if we have a monitored level of operations, then we have good to go. now we need to be able to be very responsive, we need to be dynamic, agile, and fluid, so we can be ready to respond. now technology, those of you who hear from technology companies, absolutely required in places like the martha of the world. on the northern border to be able to again, detect, identify, classify, and resolve any entry. but behind that comes the intelligence, comes the threatened risk assessments that are critically necessary. >> okay. when the governor of arizona say that is basically the border is out of control and sues the federal government saying that you are not doing your job, what's your response to that? i mean -- >> well, like again we're getting sort of mixed messages in this town. i'm curious of what your response is. very strong rhetoric, but
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especially in arizona. >> let me give you -- stats, data that i think speak there are themselves. if they go back to 1992, there was all of about 3500 border patrol agents along the entire southwest border of the united states. at that -- during that year, we apprehended over 1.1 million apprehensions of aliens and narcotics. fast forward to our peak year of operation. we peaked out at 1.6 million apprehensions last year. last year, 447,000 apprehensions. about 34% of the peak. over 650 miles of fence that was built. infrastructure and technology, unprecedented. so in addition to that, you take the look at the following stats
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and data that again are proven, that are hard data. the violence assaulted against our officer have fallen by about 40% just compared to last year. then you take a look at the following numbers. from 1992 to 2009, the following cities have grown dramatically. some to 33% in population 23%. san diego, violent crime has fallen to 20% since 1999. tucson, has fallen by 17%. el paso has fallen by 34%. this is violent crimes. and the rio grande valley has fallen by 7%. the valley has grown by 33% in population during that time period. el paso is now a second, safest, largest city in our nation. now when you take a look at the -- this is a fact that over 3200 people were killed in juarez over the last 18 to 24 month
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period and there was four murders in el paso. that's a very telling story. >> absolutely. >> do you think you get caught up in the immigration debate? is that part of this? you know, i recall that when the immigration reform failed in the -- you know, five or six years ago and this sort of focus on enforcement came out that the rhetoric kept up. so this is part in parcel about the immigration -- i'm curious whether you think part of the misconception is a result of you getting wrapped up in the debate? >> it's tough. illegal immigration is a part of our responsible. on any given day across the southwest border we have the following threats and risked associated with what we do. it is bad things, bad people, narcotics, aliens, special
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interest country aliens, weapons, bulk of currency, all of these things that are coming in our border. whether illegal immigration comes into play is the following. that what we worry about is the true threat in the mix of that chaotic situation that is caused by the elevated flow of illegal information. if there was some way that we can wave a wand and make immigration go away, that would give the 17,000 border patrol agents the opportunity to concentrate on the narcotics, on the bad people, on the weapons and everything else. now we know that's going to happen overnight. anything that we can do to mitigate that flow of illegal aliens coming across the country is going to be multiplier for the enforcement capabilities. >> a lot has been written about the alliance threat in arizona which was apparently an
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operational, or basically an operational task force to combine the federal state, local resources capables of many agencies as well as working with the mexican government to try to get a handle on sort of more strategically address the narco trafficking? are there takeaways yet? i know it's fairly new. $13 million of u.s. currency, denied entry to 14,000 aliens because of criminal background, 3800 pounds of cocaine, 1.6 pounds of marijuana. are we getting any lessons learned? >> absolutely. the biggest lesson learned is going to be the following: when we come together along the nation's border, and both sides of the border, both the government of mexico and the u.s., we and we recognize if we take our capabilities and
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capacities and abilities to make them interdependent, not focused just on illegal immigration, narcotics, or weapons, or special interests related to agency or to cases, or to specific departments, but true interdependency of those capables, and weave them in a fashion that wereuate the capacity to bring true border security, that is what is going to bring us to success at a much higher level and quicker rate. that is one the thing that is we have learned. it's the commune if -- it's the unified effort that creates the tightest mesh of capability along our southwest border. >> mexico has been cooperating with this? >> mexico has been cooperating. a level that you've never seen before. if somebody had told me as recently as five, eight, to ten
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years, i would have said there's absolutely no way. but they have taken unprecedented measures to work with us, to work jointly with us to operate in such a fashion that we bring greater security to the border. >> great. >> national guard. we -- president obama deployed 1200 national guard members to sort of, i guess, as the surge to bolster security at the border. this summer they are scheduled to deploy. there are been complaints from the government of arizona and others. what have they accomplished? are you concerned that you are losing some capability there that you need? >> let me say this. the national guards and citizen and soldiers have been working side by side by the border patrol and custom service for many, many years. over 20 year that is we have worked together. never to the level that we have worked today. what they bring to us is immediate capabilities to apply
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along our nation's border. what we have used these last 1200 national guardsman and the prior 6,000 was as a bridge to help us get to the growth of the maturation of the border patrol, to get us to the maturation of the technology deployment where we have constantly buying the technology that we need. as you know in government acquisition and procurement, it takes a while to get it on the ground. this is a bridge to the greater capability that's being added literally on a daily basis. when the national guard goes away whether in june or extend them. we will miss them. we will never turn away any kind of help that we can get. :
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so was -- what have we learned about the effect that can change our sort of strategy going forward? >> probably the one thing i learned most of all, not familiar with the technology and software integration is not an
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easy thing to do and i see a lot of fees' is out there, but sdi net which is what he were referring to is a very frustrating time period within the cbp because we had an idea and where we needed to go with. the best way i can describe sdi net is in the following fashion is that it was implement all the relevant to fit with a petrol needed. it was difficult. there were time lapses, very frustrating so when we did the analysis of what was available to us we went from employment development to basically an grumet or application of the persian technology tailored to the very specific areas of the border. so, basically at this point in time what we are looking at doing is taking off-the-shelf technology but you asked a very
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specific question concerning sbi net. there are certain elements of sbi net that were developed that are in fact working very, very well which will become a piece of this technology application that we will be going out in the industry to basically compete for those elements of sbi net. >> how much more on the border to you see covering that kind of surveillance if you will as opposed to can you give me any kind of breakdown of the future plans? >> there's going to be the need to basically have the ability to have a situation awareness of the border. now, just what that translates to it depends on the area, it depends on the threat that exists, and it depends on the assessment of the technology that is available at that time. we will constantly look for any
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technology that is developing which minute by minute to apply in those areas but the situational awareness of the borders, south, north and maritime are going to be a need. >> i gather those works better than the sword of towers with the infrared cameras and better in the sort of rural parts of the border than the places around the big city you need to have men on the ground or border agents on the ground. >> depending on the train between the points of entry, between the prince of entry in the doherty on what we qualify on the following terms and environment is the urban environment and the congestion is we had an absolutely -- lagat literally seconds to identify any kind of anomaly and incursion because of the assimilation concerns. then we had the environment which make to some kind of canopy to the area, some kind of a low brush mountain and desert and things of that nature and
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then what we refer to as the remote area of operations as a grand force on the northern border so the tide of technology that we apply has to be tailored to that area. one of the shah alleges rex and was going to be on these areas on the northern border in texas are now the valley where the canopy is hard for technology to basically see through what is it we are going to use. >> the u.s. military is interested for monitoring the border between pakistan and afghanistan. >> one of the things the military has used and in fact the first mobile surveillance system that is built actually conceptually designed by the border patrol was built for the military they are now using that same type of capability and the foreign theaters of operation. islamic would stop for a second of the northern border that doesn't get nearly as much attention but very important, the number one trading partner, is that there?
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>> the giglio was also fairly critical for control of the northern border as well. what would your response be and also made the point that suggested that if there is a terrorist infiltration of the more likely what is your concern about terrorist infiltration on the northern border? >> very good as it relates to the risks relating to terrorism. the one thing we have to understand is we cannot take the same measures or the same approach to the northern border as we do the southern border either from the gauging of the country of the border or how we approach it. one of the critical things that we have to understand, for example, is that the northern border intelligence is going to be absolutely critical knowing what is happening in north of us. the integrated liaison is that we have with the police say the
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intelligence, and frankly taking the approach that both canada and mexico, the defense of the continent is going to be critical to defend united states, mexico and canada, so it is a giant integrated approach to protecting the borders of what's going to be critical. >> and we're getting a lot of cooperation. >> so they are harmonizing policies to jointly working the borders. we have shipped writer where the coast guard and the rcmp are riding together literally on the waterways. we have the joint patrols between the border patrol and the rcmp, they are basically harmonizing the policies. we are looking at joint infrastructures. things of this nature that were solidified, the relationship and increase the 60 to security of
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the borders. >> why is it considered the terrorist threat likely to come from the north and the south and the plot was foiled. >> why is it that ret is more of the connection between the european cities and the canadian cities. >> yes, the ability to travel from europe or anywhere now the world into canada of course very closely with us and keeping that from happening. the problem we all have is the unknown. those -- we often talk and the cdp that the easiest, not that it's easy but the easiest targeting that we do is against that which we get information. we've information, dates of birth, travel, time, schedules, things of that nature. that's the easy one. it's the unknown threat we have to be concerned about and that is where intelligence comes into play, our targeting capabilities
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and unified efforts between the government's debt is absolutely necessary. >> okay. starting to wind this up we're going to open from questions from the audience so please, whenever questions or on your mind, pose them. the last five years it's been a rather increase in the resources in your organization to secure both orders. as everyone knows we are in every budget constrained environment and going forward how concerned are you that these key initiatives we've been talking about are threatened by the budget act? i think everyone is looking at the bottom line wondering where can i cut and show etc are you concerned a lot of what we've talked about will be sort of constrained by this budget environment? >> i think the time is for us to look inward now. we have grown dramatically over the last six to eight years.
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that growth is given the capability to look inward and gaining efficiencies by looking at how we operate. to give an example, when the cdp became cbp, one of the first programs we put into place was what we call pushing the borders out of which the csis, container security initiative, was part of the time to protect us as far away from our border as we could. at a time, the only means that we had in order to start up the sesir, secure initiative, is to place our people in foreign locations. 32 countries, 58 locations is what we had. well, fast forward to where we are today, now we are looking at options that we take a look at doing the same type of capability but why we have
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virtual connectivity where we may not have as many people or any people depending on the country where we are talking about. we have the ability to x-ray and do inspections, radiology testing and people located here domestically will be in approaching the shipment, so it is all of those efforts we are taking a look at, taking a look at how we run the points of entry and how we look at the technology first of all border patrol agents, infrastructure. we have built the infrastructure that we feel we need. we are continuing to buy the technology and from a fiscal look, technology would be one of our highest interests as we move forward in securing our borders. >> and you have strong congressional support i would imagine? >> yes, congressional support has been outstanding. we have grown as much as we have
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because of that support. it is now up to us to show the outcome of that support. that is rather some interested has such as this we talked about the northern border. one of the things we've to the northern border everybody understands the congress and they do but the need to keep the building on this that we cannot measure the same way we measure the southern border it is more of the continue my talked about and more about the flow of people, cardinal, trade and all the little things that come out. >> as well as stopping back in the country's got to facilitate the free flow of a lot of good things -- >> very critical point we don't to often talk about. this country, we import over $2 trillion worth of trade every year. we export 1.2 trillion.
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the president has asked that we actually quadruple exports in the next five years. so that is one of our biggest responsibilities. between the points of entry absolutely critical. but facilitating and extraditing the legal trade and travel is absolutely critical for this country. >> what's open up to the audience now, hopefully we have some questions to ask the commissioner directly i see one hand in the front table. i think we have some microphones to wait one second. >> national defence magazine. one is on the statistics on the apprehensions that also coincided with a large contraption in the economy especially in construction.
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how much are the drop in apprehensions do you think is just attributable to the economy, number two, you're about to embark on the third attempt to deploy technology on the border. what lessons have you learned from the last two attempts and what are you going to do differently because integrating software from off-the-shelf components i don't think it's gotten any easier. first is on the economy. this question is asked all the time the actual drop and the decrease in activity especially as it relates to the illegal crossing started we before the economy started going down. we shouldn't fool ourselves thinking it's all been enforcement, but the border has been harshly and forced to the degree that when the economy comes back, and it will, it is going to be very difficult for these people to cross illegally. having said that, and i hope you
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don't mind be going into a little more detail here is this country has what i would refer to as baseline flow, baseline role for the illegal aliens, and unfortunately embarrassing we for narcotics so what is it that is going to happen when that draw continues the economy and they hit us that the alleged in and the hard and forced border? we believe what is going to happen and we are already starting to see that there will be the efforts around the gulf coast and the pacific. we are already working with the coast guard to address those issues, but the decrease actually started and the safety increase of the border started before the economy started growing down and we fully expect we will be able to maintain the quality-of-life we have now on the southern border and actually
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increase it as we progressively apply more technology on the agency's and so forth. on the issue of technology, you stated that this is the third effort too chollet after 33 years of service i think it's been one continuous effort. when i entered we were carrying the enforcement to put those out on one of the companies that weighed about 20 pounds. so we started using technology we back then and we have consistently tried to get better at it. the difference today is that it and i think what we are doing now is something we haven't done is taking that commercial off-the-shelf proven technology along with the funding capabilities we have which we've never had before and apply them in a very tenured fashion to the specific areas of the border. so that is main difference. we have the money, the technology is evolving every day and we are tailoring at the very specific areas of the border in a tie-in when the majority of
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the border has been hardly reinforced by the personal and infrastructure. >> i see two more questions. we will start here and in the leedy in the black hat. >> good morning commissioner. - alexander, director for security dhs. a couple questions. first question, sdi net, you mentioned that there are several pieces that are working well. could you elaborate? what specific parts are working well? >> alexander, and i know that you know as benign attwell because you've done the inspections on them. i said the elements of sbi net are working well. according to our agents and what i have seen, it covers i believe
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28 miles and 30 miles or so, total of 50 miles between, gives the agent by way of doppler radar day and night cameras, laser tag capabilities to do the following to detect, to identify and classify, and to basically give the agency the opportunity to make the fastest and deceive safest approach to the incursion. it's important. i've been there in the middle of the night when the sensor goes off, the standalone sensor goes off and we have no way of knowing whether it is a dealer that set off for a group of individuals that is backpacking narcotics into this country. it's not until we make the actual approach and physically encountered these people that we know. with es beyond net the elements i'm talking about would not only make the detection but are able to identify, classified and figure out the best approach to
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the incursion. from the officer's safety perspective from the logistics perspective of the firewall technology of the responding, for example, if they pick up a group of individuals that's backpacking, and by the way, you can tell if they are carrying long arms respond by carrying an officer by himself as you would in the past to find out or do we respond in the way that the response team comprises of the special operators in the black hawks supported by the uav to give those officers the best chance of safety that is what we have come a tremendous capability. >> one agent was killed [inaudible] and they refused and we responded with the backgrounds
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what is your position on this nonlethal weapons and rules of engagement. i had to cut the violence on the border. >> december 13th about 11:58 at night. yes. they're going into any operation to make a determination among the two as to how you're going to prepare they will have the concept of operations. they would have an operational plan way ahead of time. that makes the determination how they will approach and how they will confront the situation that they are going to engage in. they would carry with them nonlethal armaments along with lethal weaponry. all of this other stuff.
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none of us know why, the investigation is still ongoing. around first used by our people were in fact feedback. but this is a call made on site at the time by one of our most highly trained teams and operators that we have along with deadly force that was also engaged at the time. >> we have a question here. >> my question to you, sir, and thank you for your service is this, the fact that you try to stop this at the border coming and people get through especially into the urban areas can you tell us where you stand on this so-called century city
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that has moved into urban areas that allow people to infiltrate many of the areas of infrastructure by getting jobs illegally and so forth and many of the government buildings, government contractors as well as in my hometown of houston which i relief your something awful will happen because because the chemical industry and the fact that these people were coming in across the southern border and we don't know who they are and what they are and what the purpose is especially here in d.c., this ms 13 which is one of the most vicious gangs i called the mafia in this country and how do you see this focusing especially with the century city mentality
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and it's always we've got to keep families together, fine, but why not stop the benefits to them. >> you want to walk on that? >> i say that because that is a tough question, and that question should really not come to any one individual or entity or agency. i think that is a question for us as americans. there has to be a balance because the law enforcement's officer responsible for the quarter i have to tell you that i have certain service concerns with that one part of our country considers a day breach of all too easily across the border to say i'm century comes as a law enforcement responsible for the border i have concern for that. as a law enforcement officer though work and some of these cities have a concern about the
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residence and the community that the search that there has to be the devotee for the police department to communicate with the community regardless of what it is comprised of. it orbited to give the greatest benefit of safety. i don't think that that is a question specific for the cdp, the border patrol or the chief of police. this is a situation where our country has to answer that. now, we have to take into consideration that the illegal breaches that are occurring at the borders, aids, narcotics and everything else is because we as a country are asking for. we are drawing of this in. not again as a question and answer that must be answered by our country. >> is a debate we are going to be having. i have a question over here next i think.
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>> thank you for speaking out on these issues. i've wanted to ask -- have you reiterate how many border miles along the southwest border, and sorry, the entire border with u.s. and mexico do you consider absolutely secure is it possible to seal the entire border and is that a goal of the obama administration. >> let me clarify my answer in the following >> what i'm going to give you really again by the line that the geographic borders of the border patrol measures of that on the southern borders about 1100 miles that we consider under operational control as for the definitions we had. the 800, 900 miles or more susceptive, 510. but we do not need a high level
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control as we would need in these urban areas. it is operational control as a very specific to the geographic line but does that mean the remainder is out of control the answer to that is a definitive no. now, can you semper fi you asked a very specific question about can we sealed the border? it is a very definitive term that says 100%, even technology doesn't go to 100% we can't see with and we shouldn't see what because it is the commerce the relationships the requirements we have is enabling countries risk of the holiest of rate possible absolutely. and that is what we are working towards specific areas of the border. southern, number and the military orders also.
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>> a question over here. >> one of your former dhs colleagues. my question to you is you mentioned a little bit earlier that essentially there's a 30%, you're talking about 37% apprehensions at four or five years ago and this wasn't necessarily due to a drop in the economic conditions in the united states. with that as a background, my question to you come and perhaps it is the the the statistics i am citing is it approximately 50% of individuals that come to the united states illegally. how would those statistics changing and what are the activities we put in place to perhaps achieve similar of racial successes on that dimension in securing our borders? >> so good to see you. that is a great question because you are absolutely right i would just clarify the following.
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that the number you're referring to about the country do not come and he legally. they come illegally and then they become e legal by overstaying or the status by which the can into the country. that is a tremendous problem because that is something that we see that relates to the unknown that i talked about earlier where students or business people may be coming and would allow them to come for the duration status of the students but they decided not to leave. what do they bring with them, what these lawyers to they bring with them, so those are very real dangers we face. i don't have the figures right now over the last ten years as to what kind of overstate we've had, but your figure approximately 50% of the totally illegal alien population in the nation coming in by the way that you describe is correct, it is
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correct. it overstays, they become illegal and a part of that illegal alien population. so we are addressing the ones coming in the weekly between the ports, but that is a higher concern that we have now. i.c.e. is working close to it and for those and we are trying to identify the means by which to stay with that transformation of legal to e legal and then take the appropriate action. we have time for one more. in the white shirt and then we will wrap it up. i would like to play the devil's advocate. it is depressed everything coming to this country and yet we seem to be paranoid on the most fascism to stop and talking about sealing the border.
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now my point is if the native indians have seen this the border most of us wouldn't be here so i guess this is becoming a paranoia in this country by certain sections and therefore i commend those american citizens who are creating these cities and that is the view and i'm glad that you have responded appropriately. >> thank you. >> i'm not sure it was a question -- talking about getting in the politics of the reform. >> the one thing i will say is i think the paranoiacs, strong paranoiacs and frankly one that means to become needs to remain as the threats against this country, the threats against our way of life and that are very real that we are trying to keep out of this country comes the following is what i talked about earlier, the threat in the next,
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i hesitate because an american citizen that i am, i think america is in fact a very relative so looking to come to this country legally by way of the proper process procedures we are a very giving country and we should continue to be dead. but it is coming into this country legally and posing a greater harm by that threat the mix is what we are concerned about especially those of us responsible for america's borders. >> agreed, we have to wind up there and i show appreciation for the guest. thank you. [applause] >> we have a really good hammill to follow here. [inaudible conversations] >> okay so the expert panel and i appreciate all of you being
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here. i'm going to a quick introduction and pose a couple of questions to each and we will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panel as well. to my right is michael, the president of the american dialogue, the policy form on western hemispheric affairs. he's an author at giunta professor of georgetown's school of foreign service and my go to dhaka on anything but an american for a long time. jayson speed is the principal of the chair of growth and the u.s. presence and border protection and former deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the cdp. i have edward aldren, former d.c. bureau chief of the financial times and author of the closing of the american border contador was on come integration and securities since 9/11. sitting to his right is jack riley vice president of the rand research division, director of the national -- stifel's research division and a consultant of a virtually every agency from the pentagon to the
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state department joint chiefs. last but certainly not least my friend ed morrill thad allen, needs no introduction but i will get one anyway, the 23rd, want and america's man of the moment and two of the largest crisis in recent years, hurricane katrina and the deepwater horizon oil spill. i'm going to start with thad and he has to leave with another engagement but we appreciate him being here. we are still talking about the trying to stop these colorful drug cartels at the border and having spent time with you on the borders realize that this is a sort of the goal line stand right there and that's not the place. it really need this to address this we talk about how you can address the sort of defense a little bit because it seems like an impossible mission that we would try to do this on the border. >> shredding first of all you have to go back to what david and umar was talking about. there is a continuum of defense where there is an effect to be
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achieved. we need to figure out how to interrupt what we might want to call the supply chain of trouble and that will be on the borders to try to deal with it at the point of entry or the points of entry. almost at the point either the consequence management at that point. in regards to mexico and the drugs trade is as yet in the cartel and so forth and i think we need to be concerned mexico's ability to manage their entire border, the border with us, the order of guatemala and the maritime borders. for a number of decades now we have been dealing with drugs out of south america become largely through the maritime means, and that threat is evolves over the years, and i think when we take a look at the border security and order management we have to look at the hemispheric threat and the entire chain where things are developing a habit through and david aguilar got it right coming through to manage that but we need to be concerned in my view with the southern border of mexico and the purchase to mexico because that is where the drugs coming to
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mexico at that point to be segregated and harder to enter the border. >> tell us a second about how whenever we come up with a counter to one of the preferred routes they were all in a cat and mouse game and the 100% solution to talk about today. >> i think the roots of the drug trafficking routes if you will go back to the late 60's and early 70's where we had significant enforcement on the southwest border in the administration what we saw with the multi quantities of marijuana being openly carried on the shrimp boats in the peninsula through the pass and that's where we first got involved in the coast guard. that changed as we countered and closed off the chokepoints' we saw them shift to cocaine and aircraft to the bahamas that was dealt with and they shifted to
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the boats faster than the surface we counter with helicopters. the move to the self propelled a semi submersibles and we have two cases of the vehicles that actually found in colombia. this presents a huge detection monitoring classification problem to try to sort that out and come up with game to take those out of service and it's been a application in terms of technology to get the most effective transit route they can. islamic jack i'm going to go to you for a second. the operational control and how much we have on the border of the gao report is not enough. the commissioner made a pretty good argument that they have significant control over the place is the need it most on the border. can you talk about this definition of operational patrol and what it means and how the with the measurement is for what we are trying to accomplish on the border? >> sure it is a squishy concept in general in part because the
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easiest thing to do is measure the numerator, the piece on the top, when you interdict, the number of people to capture. the problem is it is always a ratio. the number of people you capture versus the number of people that actually came over the border, and one of the things that we have consistently failed to do particularly since 9/11 is engaged in developing the measures and the methods so that we can make decisions about where to put the extra dollar when we put it from congress. we just don't -- it's easy enough to do to figure out how to measure that ratio and how to keep track of it, but they're just hasn't been the will to invest and to putting the systems in place to do it, and i frankly think it's something that needs to be done. >> okay. and talk for just a second if you will about how you would rate mexico's, the fight going on on its side of the border because we talk about what is happening on our side of the
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border, you know, we had this initiative we try to help them in the war against their cartel. it seems like they thought the stalemate, but you tell me what your sense of it is petraeus grumet i would say the situation of mexico is pretty severe treated they have a problem of how very fractured all enforcement security services of an underwriting somewhere around 17,000, similar to the number of the local law enforcement agencies we have here in the united states. the tremendous command and control problems, lack of infrastructure for dealing with it. basically the need help with institutional reforms and building the capacity for managing society and respectable in order. a lot of the technology or a lot of the assistance we've given over the course of the past decade has been in the
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technology realm but what you are starting to see is more recognition of what we have to do is engage with them in the institution building and capacity building and i think that's the next generation of assistance and relations between the u.s. and mexico. helping them come back and helping them build the next generation of commanders and individuals who can begin to tackle these problems systematically. >> there's always tension in the relationship where they don't like the big brother from the north telling them what to do and how to do it and we wonder what we share with them and intelligence can be contained. as mexico comes to the moment of truth is willing to accept that or we can help them institution build and held and shared intelligence with them more because we trust them are we getting to a better place in that relationship? >> that's a good question and the others might be willing to comment on that better. from my perspective the work we did on the mexican and u.s.
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policy issues in 2009 plans are in 2009 would have been yes there have been some setbacks since then and i am frankly not sure where they're ready and willingness to collaborate more deeply stands on the mexican side today. >> you wrote the book literally on border security after 9/11 and it gets to my opening, and as i've heard talk about border security for 25 years in this town and i am not exactly sure still what it means in terms of what it looks like. what is the success across the border and what your thoughts. >> it gets to the question of what are we trying to do in this initiative which helps to stand back and say this is something the united states never tried to achieve in its history which is a level of control the borders, the borders or the land borders where we actually know who's coming into the country and
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where we go. it is a historic undertaking and we are all in the early and from the promise we haven't defined the end game at all. we need to have better measures, performance measures that help the congress decide where is the money best spent. they clearly do the vast majority of people coming to work. when this was couched in the context you offer legal ways for those people to come through guest worker programs you get rid of the lot of the float and then you can focus on the genuine threat but that conversation has fallen off the table they are much too focused on the hard measures of enforcement, what we want is a level of security in the border
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region. allan gerson, the commissioner, was talking to this couple of weeks ago. quebec to the 90's, people are scared on the san diego side of the border because of the members going through. now you still have 70,000 apprehensions, but it's under control. that is the goal but it's going to take a mixture of enforcement measures and legal reforms to get us there and i fear that the conversation has deviated very far away from that and a purely into the kind of hard measures of what we can do the line of the border that we have heard from a lot of people there is only so much you can do. >> we've had a republican president went out the comprehensive immigration reform field and we had a democratic president who doesn't think that there is congressional support for it. do you ever get something like the successfully managed the order if you don't have the immigration reform? >> i don't think so because i think unless you deal with the demand side in some way people
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always think the end run. there is always a way to get into the united states. you can't see the open space country like the united states and not really at some fundamental way that what we are as a country. i heard the commissioners say to come legally we are still open and welcomed and that is sort of true. i've been dealing with a guy from india who went through either living in the united states for years, went back home, had to wait 18 months for the security background checked but that time he lost his job, got another job five months into another security background check he's done everything by the book, it's not a threat we won't let him in, you look at the canadian border, the canadians coming its strongly flooded in the united states all those northen -- they don't do that anymore it's a pain to get across the border. that is for the broad reform
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comes in. >> okay. jason, you've been on the front line for quite a long time because of your resume. talk about what mexico is doing on its side of the border. we call what the sort of continent of what we are doing because clearly it seems like there's probably not enough. it's been an absolutely when you take a look at what has been done by president calderon it's been a terrific effort. it's closer to 35,000 since december, 2006 but has been killed in mexico more than anyplace on the globe so there's been a tremendous effort to attack these criminal organizations. however the needs to be a more comprehensive plan for mexico to secure its borders as mentioned not just as far as controlling the border from central america coming into mexico but also the maritime borders but also there's been in the middle of the border from the united states, for instance, we have been in discussion with mexico before i retired a year and two months ago by establishing the equivalence to the united states
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border patrol they can have the persistent loveless patrol south of the border to the united states which would be another way that would have to be defeated for individuals the would be tried either introduced coming to the country or shooting the agents along the border. certainly an organization like mexico customs is in need of modernization and making great steps to try to do that however they need a complete transformation to input controlling the borders from the united states going into mexico with the last two years and started before i retired, secretary napolitano actually directed the constant operations from southbound operations on the border going into mexico for the drug money and the weapons the and in mexico. i would submit that what is needed to be done with what it is currently doing. if mexico had a better to control the inbound traffic coming into mexico as well it would go back to protecting a hour own borders but there's been significant issues on the
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policy front and also on the initiative there has been a lot of bombing is or different types of technology and different types of capacity building training and that hasn't been part of the plan that has a lasting effect the will be necessary in the long term. >> would that have to involve the sort of changing the mindset of the culture for the mexican government to start thinking about we have to watch the border in the north. to them it seems like is an issue of people trying to get into the country is a threat of money and guns did you think they are capable of that mind-set change? >> the guns and the money aren't all coming there is a lot of weapons coming into the maritime and also a lot of things still coming north left over from some of those that happened down there as well. but i draw the comparison back to colombia in the 80's and the early 90's and i spent over 33 years in law enforcement and did a lot of capacity building training in colombia during
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those years, and you did see a kind of change over time where they did welcome the u.s. authorities that are much more aggressive and stronger presence to be will the racket, but devotee that has been something that seems mexico has an appetite for. is and i could talk about the mexican border and it's a pretty negative discussion. it's not all the violence and drug runners and illegal immigrants and for for terrorists. we had a visit from calderon where there is a tension in meeting with president obama that is probable when mexico looks at this issue how does the border issue look to them? described it on the overall strategic relationship. >> there is clearly a lot of frustration because the mexicans made a lot of games. we've known a lot of games on the violence continues.
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and so president calderon has to convince a lot of political pressures on this side and president obama with a lot of political pressures on this side it's not going to get easier. both countries have elections next year both mexico and the united states so the politics of this doesn't help invited mexicans are frustrated that more hasn't been done on the u.s. side not only in terms of the flow of guns and money south which is a problem with the immigration question which is frozen off the agenda and if you go to mexico and talk to mexicans the violence dominates the headlines, the mayor of the initiative, but the immigration question is very crucial. it is 10% of the population the united states is of mexican descent. it just is disproportionate share of the immigration population. as we talk about the immigration
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in general terms the mexicans to mexico, not just immigration. so there's a lot of sensitivity and i think in a technical, professional level there's been enormous progress on the mexican side and a lot more cooperation, the politics are not good and it's not looked at in a broad perspective not only dealing with the drugs and violence but dealing with the economy and demographics which are critical elements of the pivotal relationship. >> when i look at mexico with a look at and you mentioned columbia it's worrisome parallels for columbia in the 1990's where cow verdone decided to take on the cartel's we have a level of violence which jayson talked about. do you think there is a concern that in that presidential election there will be a candidate that says we need an accommodation it is too strong another word they're fighting a stalemate and they can't take this love of the violence. is that a danger to you think? >> i think it's gone too far
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from that to happen from the. i think that the violence is just spread, intensified, and i don't think that would be a politically viable acceptable position. it might have been a year or so ago but it's beyond that point so they're just needs to be -- there is enough public pressure to continue this but to try to do it in a broad more comprehensive way perhaps focusing more on the institutional reform, but really it has to be integrated. this is a lesson for columbia. a lot of columbia spending time in mexico and for america. they are providing a lot of support and it's very important, but what they are communicating as the colombian government officials and the senior -- >> government officials to deal with this problem more effectively and applying the cullom the inexperienced mexico
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there are a lot of differences, but some lessons can be learned, and one of the things is to say first of all its current be a long problem the mexicans shouldn't believe it's going to be over in a year or so, they took a long time to have to stick with it and also have to have a broad approach it's not simply a narrow sort of focus of law enforcement but it needs to be the institutional reform justice system and so forth that the colombians did as well. >> thad come back to you. you were there the condition of the department of homeland security, clearly the post 9/11 idea was we need to think more holistically about this and need to be able to leverage the capabilities and produce but in the agency's. the stories that in the day you can recall. give an update where you think we are. what we accomplished and what remains to be accomplished? >> there's been tremendous progress there remains a lot of work to be done we worked a
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number of years on trying to integrate across the agencies within the dhs to achieve integration with david talked about earlier in the prototype being done in arizona right now. until we can get an integrated approach that includes federal, state and local also working the border issues from the outside in and the inside out and achieve that level of integration we still have work to do. progress that remains work we need to significantly focus on i would say this looks familiar with the joint interagency task force south in key west which is the detection of monitoring initiative transit zone did an extraordinarily successful melding together not only the joint capabilities but the interagency folks, fpi come i.c.e., cbp, coast guard i think we know that model works trying to fit on to the southwest border ostensibly in and around el paso is a work in progress and we all agree you need to do it. in this country we tend to operate from the authorities to addictions and appropriations and we've had issues with
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oversight this very fragmented in trying to achieve that. it's a lot harder than it appears to be but we have to do it. >> i totally agree it is the gold standard. what is the magic that seems to work so well which gets to you -- >> it might be the handoff on the detection monitoring classification we would call the in the game. one of two things occurred. it's an interaction that occurs on their the u.s. law exercising the bilateral agreement with columbia and other countries down there that allows us to exercise law enforcement authorities into the territorial sea. believe it or not it gets harder when you're talking about the county. [laughter] crossing the border in douglas because you're dealing with multiple federal agencies and whether or not it's a point of entry or between points of entry you have to state police or the sheriff will enforcement and how
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that is coordinated and david made a really significant point we have to be on a case management for the authority and the destruction. >> okay. >> jack, what do you make of the mayor of the initiative? do you sense that it's having significant success? it is costing significant dollars. what is your sense? >> it is a step in the right direction, but i think the theme you have heard from the panel and even from the questions in the audience is the missing piece of the equation at this point is the immigration reform and immigration management is inextricably in my opinion tied to the border management and board of control. and the effective deterrent against illegal immigration would go a long way towards helping reduce traffic at the border and that is i think one of the recent comments that was
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made. we are headed into the national elections both here and in mexico in 2012. i think immigration reform is probably going to be at the table until after those elections and as a result probably in the holding pattern. merida is helping the peace to focus specifically on merida -- it tends to focus on all enforcement aspects and law enforcement issues. there's a tremendous problem in mexico on all of the things that happen after an arrest is made. you need to convict, you need prisons that will hold a -- those are all important pieces and areas deserving of our attention in the system. >> let's see we will go back to you. we don't talk as much about the canadian border but obviously canada is our number one partners of its important.
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is the cooperation and the understanding there what it needs to be? is the status quo there or is there a way to go on the cooperation as well? >> i think there continues to be -- there has been a lot of progress and my remarks are in that context there continues to be significant misunderstandings on both sides of the border. i think from the dominican side there is a tendency to view canada through the lens of the case, the l.a.x. bomber. in 1999, the u.s. immigration law is one of terribly tight off, 19 of the hijackers came on illegal visas so there was a lot of holes in the united states and canada and we somehow imagine they haven't made progress in the last ten years and we have a date made a tremendous amount of progress and there is a lot of cooperation now between the two governments to try to keep out people out of the space we are concerned about it from the canadian side, the problem continues to be missed, stuffing
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to do with information sharing with the united states. they are quite reluctant to cooperate under the real time basis with the united states, say for instance in sharing information on people coming into canada and those the u.s. government know anything about the individuals getting the government and perhaps turned person around, and it goes back in part to the case where the government shared a lot of misinformation with the united states and they send them back to be tortured. there's a legacy of that, but i think the recent initiative president obama and the prime minister signed is a positive indication. for the canadiens to embrace the notion of the perimeter security, that is political dynamite in the canadian context so for the canadian government to have been willing to go on the limb and say we are in favor of the perimeter security system that really keeps threats outside that represents a lot of progress so i think what they want is a payback, they want greater facilitation of the border, they want to make it
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easier for them to come across the united states and the u.s. is not clear on the resources we are willing to put in to that side of the equation. >> and i guess the economy is such a tough issue right now and that is the whole trade relationship. >> the border detection made it easier because use of the decline in the volume associated with the recession and therefore some of the traffic over load made it difficult at the ports of entry so actually there has been effort to use the law created by the recession to build up infrastructure and improve the cooperation to maintain better facilitation as the economy recovers so that has been a window of opportunity and the same on the mexican border in a strange way. one hopes that it's given the agency is on both sides a chance to be on top of the higher traffic flow which are going to come as the economy continues to recover. >> jason, we heard about the operation in arizona with a federal, state, local working
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with mexico. apparently some really good things happening from that. but does that surprise you? number one that it's working as well as it is and number two that it took us this long to actually launch something like this. it sounds like it makes perfect sense, but the history of the joint operational sense. >> feith hctc was in planning about six months before it was implemented several months ago and i think it does make perfect sense. as talked about having the unified commander for that area to oversee the assets is good and it is a strong step forward. it's not perfect yet and will never get to the point of being a model because the different parts in the united states and just across the border and also the federal authorities within mexico. but clearly that is the way to go ahead and integrate your resources, and one of the things about 6,000 folks actually deployed currently there is
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about 35, 3800 the director of the border patrol in tucson when you add the field operations in the air and marine components that another 1200 or so when you then put the amount of people on the detail that had a heavy infusion of resources to attack what is known now and has been known for a while the highest risk quarter and taking this quarter which is the way to go and dismantle what is happening in those criminal organizations that leave things across-the-board committee also to be the ticket to the transportation route in the united states and that is for the icy and federal investigators take going forward. however it is important as we go forward on the question of concerning operational control of border and what does it take. i want to illustrate what is one of the most secure pieces of the border and that is in san diego we talked about alan person making the comment about how seen diego is more secure today than it was several years ago and i spent two different stores in southern california's white seen it both ways.
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cd do as you go to the border between you have what i believe is one of the most secure areas of the border. you have the defense and between the ways of defense there's a tactical for the border patrol to have the system petrol and there's also the constant wire, the u.s. surveillance cameras and you have what i believe is the best area of operational control on the surface and as a reaction causes reaction here's what has happened. you also have the proliferation of tunnels happening in santiago that are now the most secure area of surface patrol and also the proliferation under the water as david talked about, the patrol borders. we are now seeing some of them coming across or even three or four weeks ago the scuba divers were sitting devices to take him into the u.s. waters and landing
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them in the terry times so this is what is happening. and this is one of the things i think it's hard for this country to get his arms around. .. >> you have this successful operation in arizona, and at the same time you have the arizona governor suing the federal government saying it's
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inexcusable banning the border. do you feel they caught up in what was a political argument about immigration? >> i've never seen politics get into that before at all. [laughter] of course it colors it, the reality, and also the meet -- media colors it. it depends what channel you watch, and that's how society forbes your -- forms your opinion. >> okay. mike, when you talk about really heavy physical sensing and how provaccinetive is that to the mexican government? there was a big argument about defense and pointed out the only places with defenses like that were gaza and the berlin wall. it is provocative to focus on
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the security structures? >> i think it's a little sensitive, not only for mexico, but the rest of latin america. this is a broader concern. president obama just came back from a five day visit to the region and even though it is most relevant to immigration, this is something that comes up in south america as well, even brazil. they talk about this. the defense is sort of a symbol, you know, stay out, and what i think is of great concern for a lot latin americans is that the foreign policy implications are rarely taken into account in the discussions we have. in other words, name the end that may be the best thing for the u.s. interest to protect our borders, but at least we need to understand how this is viewed by our southern neighbors, and that if we want cooperation with latin americans on a lot of other issues, this isn't going to help because i think that message is something that's
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interpreted as keep out. >> okay. i think so too. i'll open it up for questions from the audience. i hope you have questions for my great panel up here. if you would, identify yourself, and if you have a question for a specific panelist, point to them or name them, or, if you want anyone to answer the question, address it. one over here. microphone coming to you. >> national immigration forum. there was an illusion made at the beginning of the panel for the lack of performance metrics used a assessing border security. i'd like to hear from anybody on the panel on what's the biggest obstacle on managing metrics and how can the agency change them moving forward? >> i believe i mentioned that in my remarks, and i'm not sure what the impediment or the barrier is, but we actually ran
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just published a paper on this topic. there were four different metrics we observed as needing additional observation to the policymakers. two of them i recall. two was recapture, capture methodology making sure you correctly identify them as they come over the border, and if they are recaptured at a later date, you use the gap between the time of their first capture and their second to help inform you about what they perceive to be the barriers or deterrents of coming back over the border. you can use the physical location of the capture and the geographic distance they traveled to provide additional information. the other is to scientifically sample segments of the border and then put in very clear
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comprehensive measurement activities so that you can with known certainty get a very clear picture of how many people of what types for what purpose are coming over different segments of the border. those are just two examples. i think the basic barrier is the focus tends to be on the operational mission, and there isn't a lot of focus on the benefit of having better measurement and better understanding of how we're performing. i think it's really up to congress to ask these questions and require that these kinds of measurement systems be put in place. >> let me offer also just to correct a bit here. there are a lot of performance measures in place, and i think one the key performance metrics people are calling for and certainly the agency would love to have it as well to gauge overall performance is what is
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the universe that's gaining entry into the united states whether it's drugs or illegal aliens, and then you can measure against the universe to give you a success rate. there is a process in place because every individual at the border is brought into a processing center and enrolled, and many times you see within hours because when you catch them a second time, you will see the recidivism, and that happens over and over and over again and there's criminal charges along with that as well. the metrics are in place, but the largest is what is the universe? now, the universe, how do we dwoin that? -- define that? people still come in by air and overstay. they represent a significant portion of the overall illegal population. do you measure that and the apprehension? we have to get into a disciplined dialogue, what is it
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we want to measure by which we want to gauge the success of the country? >> answer that quickly. it's a public communications problem too. go up to the hill and struggle to explain the fact that apprehensions last year were 450,000, the lowest since the early 1970s and a third of what it was ten years ago. this is a good news story. twice as many agents apprehending a third as few total numbers. it is positive, but it's hard to get across that declining numbers represents progress. we need better measures. >> yeah, yeah. another question. >> i have a question for admiral allen. how do we take what we've learned and the success we've had to better protect our east and west coastlines?
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>> i think the best way to discuss this is to give you a holistic answer. i think from a strategic stand point, there's two overmatches. i'll bring it to the security side with bandwidth and computation. the cartels can't manage it like we do. the way to do it is manage it like the battles in iraq and afghanistan and put these things down in the hands of the operators that need the information to have interdiction assets. this is maritime or land and to create a sint thinks. it is basically a battle where nay are operating in a lower threat environment than we have seen in the theater of war and they are using technology that's helpful, but it has to do with you taking that computation of bandwidth overmath and breaking
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down the barriers. we need to bring that outside the territory and go into a law enforcement sensitive trusted internet based way to bring that information together and take the same type of technology that we're using in the south and start building that capacity and bring it to the domains. it's irrespective of mare tame, land, or air. that's the way we're going to lick this problem. >> my name is -- my question has nothing to do with architecture or engineering. it seems as though the overall conversation from what i'm hearing and the demand portion of this equation is a fundamental aspect of our key problem, and that is whether it is for workers that are coming
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in illegally or for drugs. any of the panelists know of any efforts linking that portion of the equation to the side of controlling the borders, or is that something that's a missing piece in the overall dialogue? >> the big focus in congress right now with lamar smith and the big focus on work force environment. the focus there is if you make it difficult for people without proper papers to get hired for jobs, that reduces the demand side. that's a big focus in congress and dhs, the e-verify program is a central initiative. i would still argue that's another element of enforcement. it's an important one, we have known that for 30 years. it was supposed to be part of
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the 1986 immigration we form. if you look historically, there's a demand for something like 300,000 low skilled workers every year that we got no mechanism that allows the workers to come over freely. they used to come over in an unauthorized capacity and go back home. we stopped that when we fortified the borders. i still think you need to move beyond enforcement and have systems that say there's a demand for the people to work, we have to create legal systems that make it possible for that to happen. you won't do this with enforcement alone. >> let me add to that also if i could. go back to what commissioner talked about and take that flow away from the borders and document the various people who need to provide a service our
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country needs, you take that away from the border, and that's a key issue and focus in on the criminal aspects whether it's bad people or recidivisms coming back into the country whether the terrorist organizations or drug organizations, however, the other factor is the supply side. the supply side needs to be dealt with as well. we saw programs over the year, and i submit in the last few years in mexico, there's been a timeout taken on the eradication programs. when you look at what that does, the marijuana and meth, that fuels the organizations as well and provide overhead for the cartels to run their organizations and that's where they get the finances to run the organizations, not so much the cocaine. that's where the profit comes from, the significant profit, but the running of the organization comes from the drugs grown and manufactured and
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preprepared for shipping south of the border, and those aspects need to be taken on as well. this is real complicated issue, and it has many moving parts, but, again, we focus on forums like this one piece at a time, and certainly the congress struggles with the issues as well. >> in every proposed organization reform, a reform gets a worker program that allows easier access for guest worngers to come work and go back, meat packing places, fruit picker, over whatever, everyone understands that a key part of the issue. also, you know, the debate on workplace verification now that i think is worthying about is if you start doing that, you get the business community in this country engaged, and they are engaged in a way -- right now it's about illegal aliens and enforcement, but the business community in the country relies on this work force, and as soon as you cut that work force off,
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they'll get engaged in the debate with the argument being you can have a more sort of well-round debate on comprehensive immigration reform. i see another question over here. >> alex best dhs a and one for the question of the general. talking about the border and there's a tremendous campaign to hit the drug cartels since 2006, what are we doing in this country to mitigate $40 billion drug demand with just root cause of a lot of balance and drug cartels being so successful? i mean, what i'm seeing is we're taking a tactical law enforcement approach, what kind of strategy should we put in place to mitigate some of the
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demands? >> i'll comment, and i have to leave for a little bit here. in my four years add come daunt, i was commissioner and worked on drug policy to work on the demand and supply side, and the fact of the matter is there's more emphasis on the demand side in the last four to six years in the country than any time i remember since we started passing this legislation back in 1989. there's been some really interesting things about the drug use in teenagers and monitoring of that, incidents at emergency rooms and ways to figure out how to test the suer water in cities for the presence of traces of cocaine to get an understanding of the use rates and how pervasive this is in our
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large cities. there's a large amount of devotion to that, just not as public, but i hope that you're hear in your personal capacity. [laughter] >> anyone else? >> i think there has been -- >> yeah, thanks, appreciate it. >> at the level of discourse i think as you look at the drugs -- [applause] >> the drug strategy overall is on the demand. i'm not sure if you look at the resources devoted to this and backing off those promises, i'm not sure that increased. the other point i'd make is mexico and it's a mistake to look at it to go with the growing middle class, economy is
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growing now and consumption and drugs is also increasing, so it's, i think the model of sort ofs u.s. demand consumption in mexico and the supplies going through perhaps and not the best -- not only in mexico, but brazil is the second largest consumer of cocaine today, so it's a much more complicated picture in drug consumption patterns than we've seen before. >> anybody else? >> having done the story on the war on drugs, how many times you know during the crack cocaine epidemic, there was a hugely intense effort to try to get the demand side and it was very, you know, intense effort advertising
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campaigns ect., and there were successes. as admiral allen said the teenage use is way down from what it was in the 80s and 90s as well, but it's a given that there's going to be significant demand in this country, and we're such a big country that that will fuel a lot of bad activity from suppliers willing to fill demand. i don't know any experts think we can stop the demand or it's small that is stoppable, but there's a certain level that's inherent in our culture. >> any other questions? oh, yeah, over here. >> i have a question for commissioner ahern. can you talk about how the nature of the threats have changed over the years? >> that's a great question.
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when you look over the 30 years -- >> oh, there you go. >> over the 30 years you clearly saw the drug trafficking threat, you know, changing as admiral allen talked about with the low flying aircraft, the boats to then shifting into the maritime commercial world, a lot of different initiatives down there, and now you see the drug trafficking move over to mexico and through the central american chain, still issues in some of the other ports opportunities of entry, but the game changer was when you saw the events of 9/11 and they tried to create significant harm here. while the country was acceptive of a certain amount of illegal drugs or people over the border, but zero tolerance came crashing down on all of us with 9/11.
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if you look at the mission of the department of homeland security or any agencies with a responsibility of protecting the border or national security efforts, the number one mission is making sure bad people don't come here to do harm. that's not necessarily the drugs, illegal aliens or that, but it's the weapons of mass destruction and crossing the borders. while focusing on that, you have to take away the other clutter if you will. to take the drug problem and put it into a more controllable floor would be great. to be able to have a better flow of illegal activity coming across the border, a documented worker program would really allow the law enforcement people in the department of homeland security who focus on border security as part of the overall national security scheme would give us a better opportunity to provide the highest level of security for this country recognizing we are a free and
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open society that's not going to completely knock down the borders, but you can focus on areas of high concern. >> i'd like to reenforce what jay said. it's partly how we use the language. we talk about the threat, and we're talking about the things that are a genuine threat, the never hijackers, serious criminals who also could be called a threat, and lots of other stuff not what we think of as a threat, people coming to work. that's a problem. it's an issue. it's a policy challenge for the united states, but it's not a threat in that sense, and it's incumbent upon all of us to be a little more careful with how we use the language. one point on the terrorism front, it was quite reasonable in the media aftermath of 9/11 to see what they did at kbp as absolutely critical on the counterterrorism front and
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continues to be critical. you know, half of the individuals involved in terror plots in the united states are dplessic, americans or -- domestic. they are americans or have become permanent citizens. the notion that the border is the only line of defense now against terrorism is just wrong. it's part of, you know, use the word continuum a lot. i think we need to be responsible in how we use the language not to imagine that the border is some kind of perfect line that can protect us from all these bad things. i think we need to talk about the issues more carefully. >> i would just say knowing -- when i was doing stories in the 90s about columbia, you know, the admitting cartels threatened the existence of the state in columbia, threatened to make them a failed state. i remember talking to dea agents who brought the organizations
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down, and i said, wow, you know, you've won. he said, no, we vice president -- haven't won, what we did was take down two organizations. someone else will fill the vacuum. we know now it's drug trafficking organizes in mexico now threatening the viability of a reasonable state to our southern border to mexico. they are fighting a life and death struggle. we moved the problem closer, but whatever manageable is in this thing, the threat, if you have organizations that can threaten the viability of the state, then that is an existential threat, and you have to deal with that. you can deal with drugs crossing the boarder and money flowing back if you create really criminal organizations with that kind of power, you have a huge problem. >> just to flash back to just a few months ago in november of last year with secretary clinton after some of the recent issues
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continuing to grow in mexico didn't call it a state of insurgency, but it may start begin to build what we saw in columbia years ago, and it may be on the verge of becoming an insurgency and the quick response of mexico saying, no, no, no, no insurgency here which translates there's no further american law enforcement or military presence as there was in the other places before, and we're fine, thank you. >> we have to hope they don't give up, and there's an apiecement party that comes up out of this. that happened in columbia. they didn't win, but cartels got into the politics, bought enough politicians where there was a platform and ran for president. if that happens in mexico, we're in deep trouble. >> i have to wrap it up there. thank you very much for attending. [applause] thank you to my panel. great, guys, good work.
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>> thank you to the panelists, and thank you again for underwriting the event today. bill, do you have any closing remarks? >> thank you. really appreciate the panel, all the education rntion the words that were spoken. i think these forums are great and really appreciate national journal for putting this on. this is really about education, and i heard earlier that elimination of misconceptions that are out there, and more education that we can provide, the better. more education i get every single day. just the other day reported in the new "new york times" that on the southwest border alone in the last 17 months that 875 arrests were made of people from nations with suspected links to terrorism. that is a huge problem, and as already heard today how the
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mission adapted from illegal immigration to drugs, the war on drugs to now protecting our borders from terrorism. this is a huge change that i've seen over the last decade myself, and early in the last decade, being privileged to work in clear, i've seen a lot of video. the coast guard, airborne troops watching over customs and border patrol agents, and it's amazing what these folks do for us and the engagements they perform on a daily basis putting themselves in harm's way to protect our country from drugs, the war on drugs, and now terrorism, so i think it's interesting to be in a forum like that and not help but think of the agents working there. [applause] thank you very much.
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♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> in a few moments, the commission on wartime contracting continues the look in the pentagon efforts to cut costs on federal contracts and increase competition. in an hour and a half, we'll reair the forum on border security. after that, from the conservative principles pact in iowa, speeches by mississippi governor and after that newt
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gingrich.
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>> the commission on wartime contracting continued investigations today on projects in afghanistan and iraq. defense undersecretary, ashton carter, talked about decreasing contracts and increasing competition. this is an hour and a half. >> going to start this hearing. welcome. we're going to start this hearing because mr. carter needs to leave in 90 minutes, and we want to utilize the full 90 minutes. good morning, i'm christopher shays, co-chairman of the commission on wartime contracting in iraq and afghanistan. others could not be with us
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today. our co-chair just returnedded from two weeks in afghanistan, and is a bit under the weather, but was joined with charless, and charles may be sleepy, but i apologize for any tough questions he'll ask. this hearing will come to a hard stop at 11:35, so this statement is short. we want to maximize the time variable for the question and answer session. today's hearing has a single witness, ash carter, ph.d. who serves the nation as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and lo gist ticks since april 2009. his formable resumé includes degrees in missics and medieval history, positions at hair vorred, mitre corporation and authorship of 11 books. his work bears critically on contracts, and you're probably the most important witness we've had, the focus of all the
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commission's efforts. we have three purposes in mind. we are looking for his current asisesment of the progress and prospects of the better buying initiatives at the department of defense relating to contingency contracting. it aims at costs and efficiencies, improve acquisition trade craft, all topics of interest in the commission's work as well. we are interested in how they are fair given the chronic understaffing of the work force and how to address the short fall under current pressures. we are interested in his reaction to the recommendations we offered to congress last month in our second interim report entitled at what risk correcting overreliance on contractors. three, as we prepare our final report for release in july 2011,
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we welcome dr. carter's thoughts on issue that may warrant further analysis or a new direction for improvement. individual commissioners may hold slightly different views on details and the work, but all of us sincerely appreciate the insight and dedication and talents that he brings to his mission, and we recognize that bringing policy, culture, and process to change defense acquisition is both urgent and challenging in light of the operational demands and the battles over the federal budget. the commission thanks dr. carter for being with us today. we swear in the witnesses, if you would stand up and i'll sweer you in. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony that you will give in in hearing is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
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thank you. let the record reflect the atirmtive. it's important it's on the record and we listen to your testimony as well as read it. >> thank you, mr. chairman, it's a pleasure to be here before the commission and i appreciate the introduction, and i salute the work of this commission. i'll say more about that in a moment. if you don't mind, i certainly won't read or try to cover all the material in the written statement. i want to make some comments and leave time for questions. >> and your full statement is in the record. >> thank you, thanks very much. >> thank you for taking the time you take to serve on this commission and congratulate you
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in the work and the interim report i read carefully. you worked hard, and for my part, i thank you, and i'm grateful for your interest in this topic. especially to you, chairman shays, this is an extension of the work you've done on the behalf of national defense in the congress and thereafter and grateful especially, sir, to you of your service on this commission. i wanted to be with you today because of the importance of your work and the extent to which our agendas are shared. i've emphasized since i've gotten to know the commission, i've emphasized to you all and to my staff we're working off the same list of challenges that you identified and you've been working on, namely to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in
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contingency contracting, to root out corruption that can follow in the wake of our contingency contracting, to get control of a particular risks of abuse posed by private security contracts, and above all of these, to balance, balance effective response to war fighter needs and value to the taxpayer in the difficult circumstances of wartime contingency. failure to do so is not only a theft from the taxpayer, it's a theft from those who put themselves in harm's way at our behalf, and in an essential compromise of the mission of counterinsurgency itself which is to support the people being protected. it's fair to say that we have not done contingency contracting as well as the taxpayer and war fighter deserved, but the learning curve is gradual, and
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we are not yet where we need to be, but have made a lot of progress. part of this is the need to have so many contractors support the operations, though by now this should be recognized as a phenomena here to stay and should not be unaccustomed. part of it is the circumstance of war, part of it is associating with the local circumstances of doing business in iraq and afghanistan, and part of the goal is to learn early on which is was doubt that our hope was the conflict in iran would be over quickly. we are trying to learn the lessons of iraq and apply them to afghanistan, and i think we are. secretary gates asked me two years ago to work hard on the issues, and i have. they are central to the two principle missions i have from secretary gates. first, to support the current
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fight second to get better tax value in our oppositions. i want to make the connection of the work of the commission and these two missions, support the current fight and get more value for our taxpayers and commission. let me say overall we have been working closely with this commission, have benefited from doing so. dod witnesses have testified at 16 different hearings of the commission, 33 different officials have made 49 appearances before this commission. i have read all of the 32 recommendations in your second interim report. i see and share the intent of every single one. none -- nine of them fall outside of my purview. of the 23 remaining, we agree
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with 19, and are, in fact, implementing them. we disagree in part with the, not the intent, but the method of implementation of four of them. let me now make a few remarks about the larger context in which the management is taking on in the department and contracting. this context has two parts, improving war support in general, and improving value to the taxpayer in contracting in regime. let me start with support for ongoing operations. when secretary gates and i talked about this job, he said to me something that made a big impression on me. he said that the troops are at war, ash, and the pentagon is not, especially your part.
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i took that to heart and have been trying to make that not so over the last two years. the focus by now overwhelmingly is on afghanistan. we did, i think, as a department, a remarkable job of the uplift last summer. part of that was lo logistics, and i say oh lo logistics community had a miracle. when we started in 2009, and president obama said he wanted the uplift completed by the end of august, and if you would have asked me at the time if we could do that in that most for bidding of logistics environments, i would have told you that we'd try, but i wasn't sure, and i was very gratified and really kind of amazed by the end of august we were able not only to get in the uplift forces, but to accomplish the rotations of the
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forces already there, and provide the enablers that make that force not only larger, but much richer and more capable than was the force in afghanistan in the years before. my focus right now, i mean, really right now, today, i was just half an hour ago discussed this with secretary gates is making sure we're doing the same thing this year in approaching spring in afghanistan, and that we are providing to our forceses everything we possibly can to make them safer and make them more successful as the fighting season begins. for that reason, we have come to the congress in recent weeks for reprogrammings. these are always different
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things for the congress to approve, but our budget system, our annual budget system is not adequate for dealing with ongoing wars, so we have to do things with reprogrammings, and i'm happy to say in the main, the four committees of congress, supported our reprogramming requests, and now we are focused on program execution and then on delivery into theater, and i'll give you some examples of things that we're going to -- we're looking at. these are four or five examples drawn from just so many, and commissioner just came back from afghanistan, and you have seen some of these underway, we will be more than doubling stats for
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reconnaissance. that was out of a recognition a year ago despite the fact we are increasing the number of predator, reaper, warrior, puma, and so forth, aircraft, air crews and orbits in afghanistan. general mcchrystal said a year ago that we were only able to service a small fraction of the requests for overhead full-motion video, and i realized that we were never going to be able to do that with fixed wing aircraft. we had an alternative, experimented a little bit in iraq with a at the at the at the tethered aerostat, a difficult thing to do. you have to have the helium, and
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you need to clear the space around kandahar airport of mines, and then put the gravel down and bring in the workers and have the housing for the workers who do the work, and then you have to have the housing for the people who bring in the housing to do the work and so forth, and everything is like that, and we're able to do that, and the reports coming back from isolateed fob's and cops with these stats is remarkable. they look down the word at the market and can surveil the road and can look around the perimeter and see if somebody is approaching the perimeter. it's really just extraordinary. we are putting on those and other surveillance aircraft now, not as a replacement for the
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full motion video, but a soda straw view you see from the highway, helicopters, highway traffic helicopters on your morning television, that kind of thing, replacing them with wide angle sensors that take a continuous high pixel density, high frame rate photograph of everything beneath the aerostat. now, we can't look at all that data. you don't want to look at it all the time, but it's available to you. if an incident occurs, you can go back through the film and see where the vehicle came from and detonated the bomb. very powerful. another addition that mraps in. summer of 2009, i signed the order for the m wrap all terrain
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vehicle, and a few months ago in kandahar saw the delivery of the last one to the marines down there. they are remarkable things because they have the approximate of an m wrap, but the traversability as the atvs. they are real lifesavers. i was at walter reed and saturday, and there were at least five soldiers there, all, these particular individuals, army, who are alive because of this, and several of them alive because of the m wrap atv. last, just as other examples of the kind of enablers we are getting for all sorts of detectors for ieds, very difficult things to detect. it turns out that probably still remains true the best detector of home made explosives is the dog. dogs have a lot of practice with
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fertilizer-like material over the evolutionary time, and they turn out to be very good at it, and we are making increased use of dogs. somebody who's used to buying tankers and helicopters and so forth finds himself buying dogs these days, and that's the consequence of us being in the complicated war we are in afghanistan, so i just wanted to give you those examples. the job, one, for the acquisition work force in today's environment i tell folks this all the time, job one is to make sure we're doing everything we possibly can. we don't know how long we have. we have to be as effective and safe as we possibly can, and we are doing everything we possibly can. our system doesn't make that easy. the system, the ppbs system was designed for normal times, was designed to prepare for war, not to wage war. it is an annual cycle.
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if we followed that, we'd always be behind the 8 ball in afghanistan and iraq, so we have to create a fast lane for contingency acquisitions so that requirements are done not in the ponderous usual way, but quickly so we do the acquisition quickly including resisting our -- assisting our contracting officers to use all the latitude they have to get things under contract quickly. the funding which i mentioned already requires reprogramming and that requires help from the congress, requires a fast lane in the committees of jurisdiction and congress to approve our reprogrammings, and then speed in fielding in the very austere environment that is afghanistan, so all those things a normal system won't do, so we are constantly hot wiring and working around and so forth. that is not satisfactory. we need a better system, and the secretary has asked me to put on
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a more permanent footing the constellation of ad hoc systems that we've been using, and i'm doing that. i'm doing that while also making sure that we take the time, that we don't take attention away from the task at hand. changing subjects now to a second front, the second most important thing that we try to do which is to deal with the new budget realities that we face. entering a new era, secretary gates began to sound that note about a year and a half ago, or about a year ago at a speech at the eisenhower library in which he said that we needed to conduct our business in a way that was to use his words, respectful of the taxpayer at a time of economic and fiscal
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disstress in the country. we don't anticipate and certainly we don't plan to see the defense budget go down in any way like it did in the 1990s. after all, the country's at war, and we have -- we cannot compromise on the capabilities that we now plan on acquiring and fielding. at the same time, we're not expecting a double digit growth that we e joyed. flat is going to feel different to us from every upwartime contracting, and the secretary wanted us, particular those of us who manage in the department to begin to adjust to the new era.
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looking out over the last five years, you're all aware that we have identified overall in the defense budget $178 billion of less value added activity, and we've taken those funds and 100 of those have reinvested in higher priority capabilities within the defense budget, and another $78 billion returned to the treasury. my part of that, the part that secretary gates charged me and my office with is the $400 billion out of the $700 billion total defense budget, round abouts, the sum of the base budget and the overseas contingency operations and supplemental funding total of $700 billion. $400 billion is contracted out, about equally for goods and services, 200 and 200, and he
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has asked me, and our entire acquisition work force, to see how we can improve the buying power of that part of the defense budget, and what i'm looking for here, and i tell people this example all the time, is what you experience when you go into the computer store and you buy a computer this year that's better than the one you could have bought last year and cheaper too, that's called productivity growth in economics, and the question is why am i in the position of going to the congress every year with a joint strike fighter, for example, that is the same one as last year and cost more? where's productivity growth in the defense economy? we need to find that. we've done in under secretary gate's leadership over the last couple years canceled a lot of programs 245 -- that were not value added, whose
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time had passed and had enough of them, or were not performing, but we're getting to the point of things what we do want and do need, and we'll get them in the manner we need them. that is the purpose of a better buy r power initiative that secretary gates and i and knownsed -- announced on february 14. many of these are germane to recommendations you made in your interim report. the first -- >> try to do that in the next two minutes. >> i'll do that. the key is affordability, and as we start new things like the ohio class replacement, a new presidential helicopter, new bomber in the air force, crown vehicle, and all of those need to begun to be designed with affordability in mind. we're doing something called should cost, a counterpoint to
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the cost estimation process which i call will cost. it tells you what something will cost if you manage how things are managed already. you see competition in the combat ships, you saw competition in the so listations, and very important, one the major drivers of value and defense. important for services contracting, a point you've made in your report. services overall, $200 billion is so much money that we can't continue to have poor trade craft in the acquisition of services, and so we're doing a great deal to improve the acquisition of aveses, that is also germane to your report, and finally, the acquisition work force, chairman shays made reference to the importance of that. none of what i talked about so far and nothing that is in the
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better buying power initiative, none of that matters if we don't have good people executing, and we're short of good people. we know that. we've been in there for about a decade and oversteered in reducing the size of the acquisition work force. secretary gates made a clear the acquisition work force initiative he began two years ago is an exception to the some of the hiring actions he's taken as part of the efficiency initiative, so the work force improvements will continue in coming years, and contingency contracting is a subset of the overall contracting, but the work phos that does that has unique skills, unique to contracting, and you signaled those in your interim report, and they are very important as well. my point is, chairman, all of this is connected to the work of the commission, both what we do
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in general to support the wars and what we do in general to pursue better value. contracting officers, contracting officer representatives are an essential part of the acquisition work force, competition is a key driver of value, services is a key area where we need to improve the acquisition trade craft. the annual budget cycle is a cold war creation that does not keep up with the face of modern contingencies, and we are still adapting to the reality of contractors on the battlefield, and most of all, in march, facing rising combat in afghanistan, we need to renew the effort to balance effectiveness and efficiency in our wartime contracting effort. i know the commission is aware of all of these connections, and i salute you for your effort and your wise counsel. happy now to answer questions. >> thank you, dr. carter. dr. carter, we'll get you out at
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11:35 as agreed to, so we'll get right into it. i'll take a minute of my eight minutes right now before going to mr. tiefer and then we'll go to mr. henke, and ms. skhinasi. we'll get you out at 11:35. i want to say with gratitude that your folks as the defense procurement and policy director and his deputy and former admiral have been incredibly helpful to us and probably have made you feel that you didn't need to come, but we still wanted you, so thank you for coming, and -- >> thank you for mentioning that. i'm glad you did. they are both incredibly able and right at the center of this
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activity. >> they couldn't be more cooperative and both talented, and we appreciate their help. i want to point out the executive director robert. he has been incredibly helpful to us, and mr. dixon has been incredible helpful as well. i want to say for the record that we look at waste, fraud, and abuse in many forms, ill conceived projects, no matter how well-managed is wasteful, if it doesn't fit the society it's meant to serve, or if it can't be supported and maintained, and we see a lot of waste in that area. we see poor planning and oversight by the u.s. government and poor performance on the part of contractors, too much much -- of it and had costly outcomes and time misspent. frankly, criminal behavior and
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corruption that needs to be addressed as well. what's a little disconcerning about your statement is you tended to focus on the hardware, and we're totally into services, and services are half of the contracting, and we tbhoa that the hard -- know that the hardware is easy to identify and illustrate in terms of savings, but we're going to focus on the service part of your work which i know you've spent a good amount of time focusing on as well. with that, we're going to start off with you mr. tiefer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i did just come back from two weeks in afghanistan in general in kandahar in particular with my chairman, mr. tebot. the dust of kandahar is not yet off my shoes, and traveling with the chairman is an extraordinary experience. he goes everywhere and drags me everywhere.

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